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The start of the school year may present a danger for kids walking to school. Motorists must drive carefully in school zones and be aware of hazards.
When parents send their children off to school, it is usually an exciting time for everyone. The last thing a parent wants to think about is a child being hurt at school or while walking there. Unfortunately, walking to and from school presents some hazards that parents in Oklahoma need to be aware of.
More children are hit by cars near their schools than other locations, according to the National Safety Council. Why is this so? Many children who walk or ride their bicycles may underestimate the traffic dangers surrounding them. They might run out into the street unexpectedly or attempt to cross against the light. Negligent drivers may also be responsible for pedestrian injuries. Some fail to follow the speed limit in a school zone, while others may not slow down for crossing guards or stop for a school bus that has its flashing warning lights on.
Younger children are especially in danger of being hit by their own school buses, but they are by no means the only age group affected. In fact, according to SafeKids.org, teenagers are twice as likely to be killed in a pedestrian accident than younger children and accounted for over half of all pedestrian injuries involving children over the past five years.
Safety Tips for Kids Who Walk to School
What can drivers do to prevent children from being involved in motor vehicle collisions while walking to school? The following tips may help:
- Allow children to cross the street, even if they are crossing without a crosswalk or against the light.
- Give children space in crosswalks, rather than unsafely blocking the area.
- Stop for school buses that have their flashing warning lights on.
- Show respect and courtesy to crossing guards who are attempting to help children safely cross the street.
- Obey school zone speed limits.
- Do not honk the horn at children who are walking in or near traffic.
It can also help to remember the other areas where children may be walking. These include residential neighborhoods, parks, playgrounds, swimming pools and parking lots.
In a pedestrian accident, it is almost always the person walking who fares the worst. Those who were injured or have loved ones who were involved in a pedestrian accident may need to speak with an experienced Ponca City personal injury attorney. An attorney should be able to advise victims on whether or not they have a personal injury case for compensation, as well as the proper steps to take.
Walking to School Can Be a Positive Experience
Before we talk about the possible dangerous situations that can unfold while a child walks to school, we want to be clear that there are definitive benefits that a child can enjoy while walking to school. Studies throughout the years have consistently shown that children who walk to school often demonstrate stronger social skills younger in life than children who do not. Walking to school also helps children work with time management skills because it is largely up to them if they show up to class on time. Also, you can’t overlook the exercise your child will get from walking to school.
With that said, you should be aware of the possible issues that can come up because a child walks to school. We want you to be aware of both sides of the issue, so you can feel more confident in deciding how your child will get to school each day.
Questions? To discuss your potential case, please contact Martin Jean & Jackson to request a complimentary consultation.